A New 10k PR

Yesterday was the perfect afternoon for a 10k race in Geneva!


As soon as Meghann and Derek planned their to Geneva, I started searching for local road races. How much fun would it be to run a race with Meghann when she was in town and check off “run European race” her bucket list!

There was only one option, a local Fall 10k race in a nearby town. This was the 14th Foulees Automnales de Meyrin race which includes multiple distances – 10km, 5km, 3km for school children, 1.5km for kids and a 14 km nordic walking course.


We didn’t know much about the course except that it was primarily on paved paths and had a later than normal start – 2:36pm! We had a late breakfast of steel cut oats, cranberry sauce, and almond butter! It was the perfect pre-race brunch, enjoyed around 11:30!


We arrived at the bib pick-up area at 2pm, the last possible moment to pick up bibs. All of the races I’ve run in Switzerland thus far start near a school or other area where runners can use restrooms, change clothes, relax and stretch inside versus waiting outside near the corrals. It was quite nice since yesterday was colder than forecasted. It felt like 37 at the start and was a damp afternoon. Perfect running weather for us, but quite cold for Derek, our great spectator!


At 2:30 we joined the 550 other runners, ready for a great race. We each had our own plan and therefore weren’t going to run together. Bo was focused on finishing as yesterday was his first race more than a year and his first race since his ACL surgery on August 12th. Meghann was fighting a cold, so focused on just enjoying the sights. Once upon a time I thought I’d spend November using Run Less, Run Faster to train for train for a 10k PR. We all know that I’ve spent November doing lots of cross training but very little running. Therefore, I told the gang that my goal was to run as strong as possible and see what was possible.


At 2:36 on the dot we crossed the starting line! The first half mile was really crowded due to the narrow path. I did my best to move to the right and push forward while being conscious not to waste too much energy on weaving.


I’ve never spent time in this town so I had no clue where the course would lead. We spent the first half navigating through a few neighborhood streets, a small park and then on the sidewalk along a highway which included a tunnel and finally into a large park which took us past CERN and through large fields. From the beginning, the course was undulating hills. Even though I was running without a Garmin, I could tell that I was pushing my pace. I know that I’m not the strongest runner when the running becomes tough. After the first kilometer I chose a “rabbit” or person in front of me who I wanted to do my best to keep up with or pass. She was wearing this year’s New York City Marathon shirt and looked happy and strong. Perfect! For the next 9 kilometers I focused on enjoying Taylor Swift and pushing through each hill with my arms and putting any pain out of my mind. As Theodora has told me many times, PR attempt should feel hard, because they are! Every time I approached a hill, I also repeated “what goes up must come down” to myself.


While it felt like the longest 10k I’ve run in ages, I finally crossed the finish line, giving the last few meters every bit of energy I had left! I ran a strong race, pushing until the very end. A new 10k PR was mine!


I ran the race in 55:42 or an 8:59 pace! Over a 2 minute improvement since setting my last 10k PR in Central Park in July 2013!


I wasn’t the only one who had a great race yesterday! Meghann loved the change of scenery and versus Florida races and Bo finished feeling strong, ready to start training for a Spring race! This 10k race was the exact motivation I need for this month’s 5k in Atlanta and the next few races in the New Year.  I’m ready to start incorporating speed training into my regular workouts and see what’s possible!

What’s your preference – pancake flat or rolling hills?

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Turkey Trot Fun & 10 Black Friday Deals

Thanksgiving has arrived! It has always been one of my favorite holidays as it includes delicious food, time with family & friends, a chance to pause and reflect and kicks off the holiday season.

Thanksgiving in Geneva has taken on a bit of a different meaning for us. This year, due to meetings and schedules, I am not able to take today off. However, tonight we will once again share our American traditions with fellow Americans and our European friends. There will be lots of wine, more homemade food than we can imagine eating and laughter. While we can’t be with family today, it does feel wonderful to make our traditions. Typically, right about now, I’d be with my mom in the kitchen, sipping coffee and whipping up sweet potato casserole!

This morning we woke up early for a Turkey Trot 5k which was our casual attempt to bring tradition to Geneva. We decided the route upon meeting at the starting point and our neon group chatted in the darkness of Geneva before sunrise. Meghann had the chance to meet many people she’ll see again tonight at dinner, which was a bonus. Can you believe three people in this picture are from Tampa, Florida?

TUrkey Trot 

Before signing off for the day, I wanted to also share a few Black Friday shopping specials. Thanks to the awesome site Unroll.me, I haven’t received many Black Friday emails. While I do not support shopping in store on Thanksgiving Day, I love snagging a good deal just like the next person. Maybe I’m partial since I work in the eCommerce space, but I’d rather shop online any day! Below are a few of the deals I’ve found online along with one item I’d snag at each retailer. I’ve listed these, subjectively, based on the level of discount. It’s amusing that these are all advertised as Black Friday deals since it’s not Black Friday yet!

  • Target has the Canon Rebel T5 50% off today on their website! http://buff.ly/1CkEXxU
  • Amazon has the Kindle on sale for $45! http://buff.ly/1CkI9ta
  • Bloomingdales is featuring 50% off LOTS of items AND $25 off every $200 you spend! This cashmere sweater is perfect for winter – cozy and cashmere!
  • J. Crew Factory is offering 50% off everything! Considering the prices on this site are an average of 50% less than their parent site, this is a deal not to miss. I just added this multistrand pearl necklace to my bag. It’s the perfect, classic accessory to take a basic top to the next level!
  • Ann Taylor is offering 50% off everything! Nothing screams winter and a fireplace like an ivory cable sweater.
  • Ann Taylor Loft is offering 50% off! These denim leggings are the perfect staple for any wardrobe and at less than $40 they are a STEAL!
  • C Wonder is offering 40% off through Dec. 1! It’s hard to choose just one item but with the discount these slippers are perfect for any lady on your list, including you!
  • J.Crew is featuring 30% off and free shipping which is a rare luxury! I love the Minnie pant for work as it’s comfortable like a legging or jean but has belt loops and a zipper, all the things necessary to make it more work appropriate!
  • Madewell: Get 25% off through Nov. 30 at Madewell with code GIFTON. My favorite heels are on sale, AND you get an additional 25% off!
  • Piperlime: Get 25% off through Nov 29 using the code THANKFUL.  Sales like this are always the perfect time to replace my favorite items, such as black jeans! I swear by these and at 25% off I’m tempted to buy two pairs!

Are you a Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday shopper?

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Get to Know Me A Bit Better

This survey has been going around the internet so I thought it would be a fun post for tonight. Bo and I are busy finishing some last minute prep work for tomorrow night’s Thanksgiving feast. We are hosting 21 friends, including Meghann and Derek! In fact, we’re heading to the train station in a few minutes to pick them up!


Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

  • Pumpkin (My dad’s nickname for me.)
  • Matilda (My mom’s nickname for me.)
  • Bear (Bo’s nicknames for me.)
  • AD (work nickname)

Four jobs I have had (not counting any current jobs):

  • Cutting lawns
  • Editor at SAVVY – The Savannah Morning News’ teen newspaper
  • Writer & Contributor for Bulldog Families – University of Georgia housing office newsletter
  • Holiday staff at Talbots

Four movies I’ve watched more than once

  • Dirty Dancing
  • Love Actually
  • Father of the Bride
  • The Sound of Music

Four books I’d recommend

Four places I have lived

  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Athens, Georgia
  • Philadelphia, Pensylvania
  • New York, New York


Four places I have been

Four places I’d rather be wouldn’t mind being right now (I like Theodora’s rephrasing of this question)

Four things I don’t eat

  • Watermelon
  • Honeydew
  • Raw scallops
  • Black licorice

Four of my favorite foods

  • bananas
  • guacamole
  • anything my mom bakes
  • boiled shrimp w cocktail sauce & Old Bay

Four TV shows that I watch

  • Scandal
  • The Good Wife
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Madame Secretary


Four things I am looking forward to this year (next 12 months)

  • Time with friends and family during our Atlanta-Savannah-New York City trip for the holidays
  • Ski weekends with friends
  • Visting St. Petersburg, Russia
  • The three day Indian wedding of one of my best friends, Raj, in New York City

Four things I’m always saying

  • Anything new or interesting?
  • I love you
  • I’m having wine, do you want any?
  • Will you make coffee?

Now it’s my turn to tag a few people! You’re next Charlie, Kristine, Meghann & Leah

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